Every year is the same old story. We eat too much, spend too much and probably drink too much, but then vow to start fresh when the new year rolls around. We beat ourselves up and promise to go ‘monk mode’ when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.
Well, this year it’s different. First, you’re not going to beat yourself over letting your hair down a little over the holiday period. It’s an amazing time of year, and let’s face it, there’s enough people out there trying to ruin your fun (like your landlord 🤡) that you don’t need to do it to yourself too.
But while you officially have Cleo’s permission to party this festive period, she’s also going to be there to roast you, or hype you, when the new year comes. The difference is that this year, we’re going to suggest you keep things manageable and sustainable.
Here are five financial resolutions for 2024 that you might actually be able to stick to 💅
Build an emergency fund
Do you remember the swagger you had when you got birthday money as a kid? Sure, nowadays $10 won’t even cover your appies from Doordash, but back when you were little, that was some serious walkin’ around money.
As an adult (sort of), you can get that same feeling from an emergency fund. Only 44% of Americans could get together $1,000 in the event of an emergency, meaning 56% would be in 💩 if an unexpected bill rolled in.
If that’s you, it means a constant state of fear and nervousness over money, which can wreak havoc on your mental health and force you into bad financial choices.
So the very first resolution around money is to build an emergency fund. Maybe that’s $1,000, or maybe it’s only $500 to begin with. The important thing is to choose an amount that feels right, and start putting away a small amount every week to reach the number by the end of the year.
If your figure is $1,000 that means putting aside just $20 a week. A small price to pay to get back that birthday money swagger 🎂
Oh and btw, Cleo can help, with tons of crazy useful AI saving features to help you hit your savings goals.
Pay off debts
Once you’re putting cash into your emergency stash each week, it’s time to get those debts under control. The key here is to take the same slow and steady approach. Sure, you could live like a hermit for a month and pay every penny off them, but if you do that you’re likely to lose your mind one night and binge buy the biggest Zara haul of your life 💀
That’s not sustainable, for your wallet or the planet (thanks, fast fashion).
So don’t change your life entirely, just work out what you can afford to pay (over and above the minimum repayments obvs, keep them up no matter what) and start chipping away. If you have a lot of debt, it might take a long time to pay off, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Earn more money
“JuSt eArN mOrE mOnEy.” Yeh, we hear how Boomerish that sounds. And we’re not saying that it’s easy to earn more money. But, it is the best way to improve your financial situation in 2024, and as far as resolutions go, it’s a banger.
Because earning more money can help you reach all of your other financial goals. It gives you more money to save into your emergency fund, more to pay off debt and more to spend and have fun with 🍾
Try to come at this resolution from a range of different angles. If you want to earn an extra $1,000 a month, that can seem like a huge number if you’re trying to do it all in one go. Instead, break it down into chunks.
Maybe you could earn an extra $500 a month by picking up a few more hours in your main job, another $250 selling on Etsy and then another $250 doing some gig work on the side. It might not be glamorous, but that extra $1,000 in your pocket every month sure will be 💅
Oh yeh, we see you there you little Wolf of Wall Street you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that investing is just for boys in Patagonia vests 🤓 Anyone can invest and you don’t need to be a banker to do it.
There are a ton of investing apps out there that allow you to get started with as little as a few dollars, and many of them even allow you to trade for free. As always, start small (seeing a pattern here?) and aim to diversify your investments as much as possible.
The best way to do that is usually to buy exchange traded funds (ETFs) rather than direct stocks, but honestly there’s a ton to learn here. Hit up YouTube for some basic tutorials on how it all works. It might seem like a lot of effort, but it is seriously worth it.
How worth it? Well you’ve got to play the long game, but if you invest $100 a month (bumping it up with inflation each year) and get an average return 8.5% per year (hopefully), then in 30 years you could have almost $220,000. Hello, retirement in Cabo! 🍹
Spend on what’s important
Lastly, one of your main financial resolutions for 2024 should be to spend your money. At least some of it. Yes, all of these other four resolutions and strategies we’ve laid out are important, but you will have spotted a theme.
You shouldn’t feel like you need to give up your present to maximize your financial future. Being sensible with money, putting some towards your savings and investment goals and paying down debts are all important, but so is enjoying your time now. Life is short, and we’ve got to make the most of it.
So how do you do both? Well the key is to spend on what’s ✨important to you✨ Take stock of where your money is going. You might find that you spend a lot on certain things, like hobbies or travel, that add significant value to your life. You should keep spending that money if you can afford to.
However, you might also find that you’re spending a lot of money on things that don’t add value to your life, like that gym membership you never use or the Costco card you have even though you live in a 1 bedroom. Who’s got room for a 400 pack of toilet paper in an apartment that size?
Cleo’s here to help
Regardless of what your savings or financial goals are, Cleo’s got your back. Her AI-powered savings features can put you on the right track, with tools to help guide you through the modern financial maze 💁♀️
Not only can you use awesome autosave features to hit your goals, you can get personalized financial help through the integrated AI chat features. Need some tough love on your latest spending patterns, type ‘roast me’ in the chat, but be prepared for the smack down 😈 Prefer a gentler side, type ‘hype me’ instead 😇